Sunday, September 30, 2007

Having a ball!

I was in KB Toys looking for a birthday gift for Ezra, a specific one, and found myself looking at this ballpit. We bought Ezra one when he was about 2.5 years old and he adored it. This was on sale for 12.99 and I thought, ok, that’s not bad (it came with the balls also)! I have officially realized that 5 years ago it was MUCH easier to get IN the ballpit… But, you do what you have to do for your kids, so Jesse wants me in there – he gets me in there, out of shape and all!!!

Jesse and Ezra get in there and have fun making the balls pop up like popcorn. The primary colored balls are great, it is helping Jesse learn his colors!!

Keeping Busy!

This morning while I was making muffins, Jesse (my 20 month old) was curious. I love the age he’s at! He wants to be so helpful and learn everything I do around the house… I decided to give him his own muffin pan, a mixing bowl with ‘ingredients’ (plastic balls from his ball pit) a plastic spoon, etc. He played with this for a bit – and then eventually moved into the room where the ball pit was to get more ‘ingredients’. He sat and played muffin maker for a half hour.

Lesson of the day - you CAN entertain without TV, all while managing to get things done!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Road trip

Off we go to Wilson, NC today! Jonathon and Ezra stayed home, relaxing and enjoying some guy time and went out to eat with Mimi and Papaw (why do I always miss out on dining out?) As planned, Jesse and I go to Wilson to visit Haleigh (Mike’s daughter) and Renee (Mike’s fiancĂ©). Nicholas (Mike’s son) couldn’t hang out today, he had band competition. I will see him on the next trip up in about 3 weeks. I’ve made a personal commitment to visit each month at least once.

Haleigh and I played ‘Mrs Mary Mack’ and M.A.S.H. – a lot. Things are much different with a girl (I have all boys, remember?). Haleigh is such a deep thinker, and is far more logical then I would have thought. She’s truly unique! I think maybe I shocked her by knowing what Mrs Mary Mack was, and how to play M.A.S.H. We had a great visit! Made it back home by 830pm, and Jesse was wide open for about 30 min when we got in - he missed daddy and brother!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Oh no!

Word of the day = ‘Oh No!’. Jesse has a new word combination!! I’m sure he’s been working on it anyway – I just helped it along this morning. I was coming around the corner of our bar, where I had placed Ezra’s book bag propped on the floor at the corner. Evidentially the bag slipped, and I stepped on it, lost my footing and landed 100% on my right knee. I was speechless it hurt so badly (still hurts badly). Jesse was in my arms, and landed safely on top of my leg, on top of my knee! I set him beside me on the floor and I said ‘oh no! Mommy fell’, right then he started repeating ‘oh no!’

Note to self – watch what you say, toddler is repeating things now…

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

All better now!

Update on the sick – they’re better for the most part! Jonathon’s only lasted about 48 hours, and Jesse is left with only a random cough. We're still giving Jesse some meds for his cold that the pediatrician suggested, otherwise he's great! As for myself and Ezra - no colds for us!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Talking Hands.

Signs Signs Signs! Since about 6 months old, we've randomly incorporated sign language into Jesse’s routine learning and play. He’s mastered several ASL signs so far, with ‘help’ and ‘shoes’ being his latest additions. We don’t do signs all day long, just play and learn type teaching. He’s adapting to them quickly, it seems that he’s really in a developmental growth spurt. So far he has learned to sign milk, drink, eat, cat, dog, bird, duck, car, shoes, airplane, help, more, and book. Out of those he can SAY (in order and spelled how he says them) mil, dink, eat, cat, daoo, high pitch b sound for bird, duck, sees(shoes),aapane, no word for help, sometimes he says eat for whatever he's confused about, and booooo for book. He also says go, there (dare), bye-bye, dada, mama, Ezra, outside, bear, car.. I’m sure there’s some I’m leaving out, but that’s the most common words so far… We’re working with him on pronouncing the ending consonants – those seem to be missing on most words unless they end in ‘t’. He’s good at‘t’! Ezra does signs along with Jesse at random, and this seems to encourage Jesse even more. Both boys gab with one another each morning and afternoon in the car on the way to and from school. It's funny, because Ezra is so analytical most of the time, yet with Jesse's baby gab he seems to figure it out and just go along with it talking with correct grammar to Jesse as if Jesse will talk right back with it! Little does Ezra know, he's teaching him just by talking to him!

Monday, September 24, 2007

It's all Elementary.

With the new school year, brings a new school! It's 16 miles away - which seems close, but it takes 40 min to get there through city traffic. Even with that, we love the new school, it’s a very small school in the center of a well established community in the South part of the city – most of the homes look to have been there for 20+ years, and the school is very ‘family’ oriented. The man that stands outside and directs carpool traffic LITERALLY knows each kids name. He impressed me with this on the 3rd day of school. Each kid dropped off (I see about 50+ cars daily while I’m there alone) he speaks to, and says their name!

Ezra’s IB class (International Baccalaureate) is learning about Electricity and Magnetism for this part of the quarter. The class is teaching him about how electrically charged particles attract or repel each other, how electrical energy can be converted into ‘power’ heat, light, motion. He’s also learning about magnetism, where he will continue to work in small groups in the IB class to create a compass and other magnet driven items. They’re also focusing on how energy/electricity affects our present lives and comparing to how life was without electricity. I don’t recall ‘changing classes’ in 4th grade, but they do at his school. He leaves his homeroom class for the IB classes – the school is a prospective IB school, so they’re really pushing IB profiles (understanding behavior and character and personality type are part of the profiles) and learning. He’s in a rather large class for this (20+ students) and seems to really love learning about this so far! He tells me all about lightening and how it works!

He is also learning simple algebra this year, along with Spanish. We didn’t have Spanish in 4th grade!! He’s adapting to it quickly and is above grade level on all areas of his academics except for penmanship. We’re going to start some small creative writing exercises at home to bring that to where it needs to be. He just went through some very aggressive testing to see where he stands with his IEP needs, the testing pushes the student to attempt all subjects beginning with lower then grade level problems, and then advancing to upper grade level. Ezra did well, and didn’t become frustrated with the testing.

We also found out this week that with Ezra’s tested reading level, he will be assigned again this year to a community helper job! He will help K5 and 1st graders and their reading. This is something he did last year as well – a few AR students each year who are willing, are assigned to a buddy to help them learn to read. This gives them about 20-30 min of the day to go into either the library or in that students reading group, and sit and tutor them with areas they struggle in. I love this – and it really helps his self-esteem! He enjoys helping others understand and sharing his knowledge. I'll post some more as we move along with school; there's so much going on this year with 4th grade, and so far, we're absolutely impressed with this school !!

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Jesse has shared his cold with his daddy. I came into the room after putting laundry in the washer and this is what I found them doing, crashing on the floor together watching 'The Wiggles' (not Jonathon's choice, HA). Jesse and daddy hung out in this very spot for well over 30 min. Both of them just feel puny! Jonathon started with the cold last night. Jesse seems to be over the fever part, but still coughing alot.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sick Day

Today Jesse woke with a 101.1 fever. Not terrible by any means, but miserable for our little man! He had been coughing on/off for about 3 days, randomly through the day with no other visable symptoms. Those who know us well, know that Jesse's rarely sick! So it's a big change for the little guy to suddenly feel the ick. Hopefully it will be short - whatever it is! We're alternating fever reducing meds, and trying to keep him happy!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Random 8

The Rules:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

The Very Uninteresting Facts:

1. I’m a Southern Baptist preachers daughter. Growing up, I often felt like I was under the microscope of every parent in our church(s), and often – part of their gossip! As a teen, I did rebel – but nothing like the rumors of the average preacher’s daughter.

2. Richard Petty is actually a relative – a very distant one, but relative none the less. We never hang out, HA.

3. I wear my contacts – ALL the time. Never taking them out unless for the moment of cleaning, or changing them. Why? I’m so nearsighted that if I held a newspaper literally touching my nose I might be able to read it. My glasses are literally as thick as a glass coke bottle. And when I wore them to work once, my boss actually asked me “can you burn ants with those if you hold them in the sunlight?”… so – I wear my contacts thanks.

4. I like liver-mush. There – I said it. Fried please.

5. I have a freckle in my right eye’s iris, just by my pupil.

6. My first car was a VW Beetle – it was green, and had a manual roll-back sunroof, it was a 4 speed with no a/c and a special license plate that said SARAH2-2 (ballet)! I NEVER got to drive it… why? It got wrecked, by my very own brother!!!

7. My parents almost named me Angel Lynn. I’m guessing being a preacher’s kid named Angel, would have had it’s fair amount of teasing… smart move mom/dad – thanks!

8. In the last 36 months …
· I almost lost my husband to a major heart attack and 3-bypass surgery – after a simple stress test proved effective (he had the heart attack during the stress test). He was neither obese, or in poor health. He went on a whim after feeling ‘a little winded’ when helping a friend move. He made it through and 5 months later… we found out we were pregnant! An unplanned and very welcomed miracle. Being a mom is so changing, and wonderful!!
· My step-mother lost her life to a short, unbelievable battle with cancer.
· My oldest brother, a deeply loved best friend, passed away very unexpectedly…. 3 days prior to his passing, I was able to share some of the best birthday news I have EVER had – (my birthday was 1 day prior to his passing) – I was/am free and clear of cervical cancer/displaysia as of that very moment in time.

There is my random 8. Annette L. and Amy V. you have a blog, you’re it!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Take time to stop and pick the flowers... or bushes!

The beautiful weather and wonderful temperatures come along with walks in the neighborhood. Jesse will walk a whole block (about 1/8 of a mile) as long as we let him - he loves to wave at cars going by, and stops to pick a flower or leaf off of any one's plants/bushes at the driveway. It's just so nice to finally have 70-80 degree weather - let's hope it lasts!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Too Cool!!

Ezra and Jesse had haircuts today at Snip-It's and I asked the stylist to add a little color to Ezra's hair for fun. He's 8, it's fun - and completely washed out with 1 shampoo. But it was definitely cool to look at!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I was at Walmart picking up some things, and noticed a handicap man who was missing his legs from his waist down on a wheel chair - it was one w/o a back to it, he was just literally in the middle of the parking lot. No handicap van anywhere to be found. I went in, got my things, left. Was in and out within 15-20 min tops. He was in the same place, no one around him, literally in the center of the parking lot. It was easily 90 degrees out. I had Jesse on my hip, bags in my hand, and he was appx 10 parking spots away. I watched something I rarely see. A stranger, walked up to him - asked him if he was thirsty, and brought him back 2 bottled waters. I sat in my car to watch this random act of kindness. This man was grateful. I'm assuming he was homeless. I never saw him move from the spot he was in. Only watched as he stayed in the direct sunlight, watching people come and go - never once asking for a handout, or even attempting to speak to anyone. Isn't it nice to know - there are random acts of kindness that happen? It gives hope.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Brush Brush Brush!

Ezra is shocked that Jesse can hold a toothbrush like a 'big kid' ... well, I am too! Gosh kids grow fast!!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Birthday Party Hopping!

Party at Dad's house for Marianna and Trent, my neice and nephew. This is one big crowd! Can't wait to see how Christmas is at their new house. And to imagine, not all of the family was there. There are also a few pics from Alexis's party (1st birthday), Jesse had a blast - especially with the balloons. Or 'balls' as he calls them. Saturday was a day spent partying :)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

It's just not the same.

I've been reading a book that a friend sent me 'The Red Sea Rules', in it there are 10 rules to live by that help us through trouble and sorrow. This book was sent to me shortly after my brother, Mike passed away. I'm only at chapter 4 right now, and I've found some peace in reading. I've found that others are giving me inspirational words, and sometimes they're absolutely what I need to hear - at other times though, they seem nothing more then a cliche. I realize they're heartfelt and well wishes of sincerity - and I appreciate every kind word. Life though, is just not the same. I went yesterday to two birthday parties. I enjoyed the morning, went and finished up getting cards for the gifts, got ready to head out for the day - and got in the car to travel to the parties and picked up my phone, only to pause. I couldn't call Mike! I wanted to call him, tell him about my weekend plans as usual. Then my heart felt empty and I suddenly went from being somewhat ok, to the rush of emotion and panic that he's really gone.

I arrived at the first party and had a blast watching a close friend of mine live up the wonder of her daughter's 1st birthday. There were gifts, children running around, laughter and love. These are the things that make every sad thing in the world seem to go away for a moment. Watching the faces of friends and family while Alexis opens her gifts was amazing to me. I've began to look at things differently in the past month - even the birds chirping, or the soft summer breeze on a terribly hot day seem like such a pleasure. Maybe part of my learning how to accept Mike's death comes along with learning to appreciate more of life, Mike always appreciated the little things and had the most patience of anyone I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Then, I arrived at the 2nd party - it was at my dad's house for my niece Marianna and nephew Trent. There was an abundance of family as I walked in the door. There was my cousin and his wife and daughter. My uncle, my 5 step sisters - Susan's daughters and Denise's 2 daughters and daughter-in-law, 3 step brothers, 5 nephews and 1 niece. Dad and Denise. I walk in and it's just a house of laughter, fun, conversation, and all kinds of birthday decorations and gifts and food. I was overwhelmed with the sense of family, and at the same very moment that I became overwhelmed and proud - I became deeply saddened. MY brother wasn't there, and his kids. This sort of thing he would have came and enjoyed with his kids. We didn't get together too often as a family in general - usually all major holidays, sometimes on birthdays or large family events, but the times we did were very enjoyable. I missed him right then - I missed him when I watched as my dad has HIS brother there, as Denise's daugthers had THEIR brother there, and as Amanda and Gina had each other. It was a bit selfish of me, but I will admit I will forever be jealous. One of my brothers is forever missing. My heart feels like it's missing a major piece, and the way the world looks to me is never going to be the same. There's a bitter sweet realism of death - life goes on for all who are left behind. But life goes on differently, and I know that I'll never be the same.

The parties were a blast, the kids had so much fun, and they enjoyed them without a worry in the world. One thing I keep reading in the book, is 'God will make a way when there is no way.' While that seems completely unbelievable to me - it's obviously happening, or I wouldn't be able to function. My husband was in a christian music band w/ his brother and 2 of Heather's (his brother's wife) brothers. One of their songs was 'God will make a way when there is no way'. I listen to that song over and over lately - trying to think positively and fully trust that God WILL bring me through this, because that is God's promise in the Bible. That if he brings us to it, he will bring us through it. I'm banking on that promise right now, and it really is the ONLY way I make it through each day lately.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Please tell me what mom has time to go to the school 45 min before they dismiss, specifically to get in the FRONT of the carpool line? I'd love to meet her. On the first few days of school I thought to myself " these people aren't getting here early, this is just new school year chaos'. The 2nd week of school I say that these moms are serious about carpooling! These mothers literally arrive 30+ minutes early. I can not do that!! I work from home, manage a toddler, manage a household, and drive appx 40 min ONE WAY with traffic issues to take and pick up Ezra from school. So, I humored myself today and decided to take a few pictures for blogging ... it's lame of me, I know. I have tried to arrive about 5 min earlier each day, and on this day I arrived 15 min before dismissal and ended up about 20-25th in line. There were just as many behind me as there were before me in line. The photos are in order showing what the road looks like turning in toward the school. The pictures closer to the school are not very good examples of what the situation looks like once I arrive... you turn in and wait to be directed into one of 7 'slots' to park and wait for your car rider(s). Once you pick up you're then directed to move out - a process that takes about 1,2 minutes once you actually get to the 'slots'. There's a man, the coach from Phys. Ed., who in 9 days of school has already learned most all of the vehicles and can use his walkie talkie to summons each car rider out to the loading area. I'm quite impressed with his memory. Especially that he can remember the name Ezra!! Excuse the poor photography, I was sitting in the drivers seat and didn't want to look like a creep taking pictures of Elementary Schools... just what the world needs huh?

Monday, September 3, 2007

A new 'first' for Jesse

Jesse loves going outdoors after dinner each night, and a new found favorite is to walk the block with daddy or mommy. Leaving our driveway and walking to the right is a slight downhill slope, and he loves to walk really fast on the sidewalk. He will walk a whole block if we agree to it. Well, tonight he ran, fell and scraped his knee up pretty bad. This is his first big boy knee scrape. How silly of me to journal about it, but I'm archiving it anyway so raspberries to all of you who think I'm a goofball!!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Labor Day, auto body damage, and Sign Language

It's labor day weekend, and we're hanging out at home. Ezra's out of school Monday, Jonathon's off of work, and oddly - so am I (from the work from home job, not the mommy/wife/etc part)... we don't really have plans. If the weather is ok tomorrow we may go up to the lake and feed the ducks and splash around at the water banks. Ezra would be happy just staying home playing with matchbox and hotwheels cars ... he's all about cars right now. Even planning which one he'd like to have when he's a grownup. He agrees that spending more then 20k on a new car is silly.... smart kid so far. I've officially paid all taxes on cars (Mecklenburg County even charges a special 30.00 per vehicle on top of regular county/city taxes), and had registration renewals on cars, and even a state inspection on mine today... which turned out to be an adventure. Since I work for the dealership (have for 7 years now) that's where I go for most things, while there for picking up I had my state inspection and oil changed. I had Jesse w/ me today - Ezra opted to stay home and play. Jesse and I ventured into the showroom where there's a $91.000 Saleen Mustang (yes, seriously) that has a $17,000 paint job - as we were walking (Jesse was walking) Jesse reached and grabbed one of the 'ropes' that was around it... to my dismay the poles the ropes were attached to were NOT attached/bolted into the floor. So the pole came crashing down onto this car, just above the right headlight and put a chip about the size of this: ** on the car. Ok, so this could happen with ANYONE, but it happened with ME!!! Why weren't they bolted down?? Well, all of that was irrelevant at this point, innocent mistake on an 17,000 dollar paint job. The sales manager was very disturbed, and at first thought I was playing a sick joke on him - but I reluctantly told him I was not. I ended up speaking with the owner about it, who eased my tears (yes, I cried - I felt horrible!) and worries by telling me that it could have happened with anyone, even could have been chipped on a test drive. He seemed more understanding then I expected, and made me feel at ease somewhat. But I still feel horrible, I mean - it's just a car - but GEEZ, it's a $91,000 one! Needless to say, after I left, at the end of the day - one of my co-workers called me and told me that they were planning to bolt the poles down - go figure.
Here are two pics of the actual car from our showroom floor (pre-damage of course) - one of them is a pic of the sticker, notice on the right hand side you can read 'paint - $17,000' WHO BUYS THESE THINGS?? Notice the pole in the picture? Well, that's the one that slammed into the car.

On to the importance of modeling and being consistent... Since Jesse was about 5,6 months old I've been trying to introduce sign language; and he's done well with understanding it since about 9-10 months old... actually doing it for me was another lesson in learning all together! He started doing a few things here and there, and from about 12 months forward he's just progressed with signs signs signs! Now, he's saying the words along with signing! Ok, so I'm proud. Indulge me will you? Excuse me being super silly in the video! He's signing 'eat' and saying it - with a strong emphasis on the 't' of eat. He's so funny. His vocabulary is growing so fast!!